It’s the classic Anonymous modus operandi: a monologue worthy of a super villain, a perceived attack on an individual right or public good, some guy in a Guy Fawkes mask, and a whole lot of fizzbang-wowie video effects and voice distortion.
But as the hacktivist collective takes aim at a new target in Elon Musk, the latest “expect us” threat prompts the question: who cares?
Yesterday, a video purportedly from the Anonymous collective warned that there is now a joint intelligence working against him:
Oh fuckhttps://t.co/f8A4baYgWU— Peter McCormack (@PeterMcCormack) June 5, 2021
The monologue was meandering, noting that “your fanboys overlook these issues because they are focused on the potential good that your projects can bring to the world,” taking aim at Musk’s background as the heir to a south African mining company, and accusing him of attempting to “create a Bitcoin Mining Council was rightly seen as an attempt to centralize the industry and take it under your control.”
What really attracted the ire of this particular group, however, is that smaller fry investors may have been negatively impacted by Musk’s recent Twitter shenanigans.
“Reading from the comments on your Twitter posts, it seems that the games you have played with the crypto markets have destroyed lives. Millions of retail investors were really counting on their crypto gains to improve their lives,” the masked man grumbles.
Hey @elonmusk, I just met Martin, a Lyft driver in Miami, who told me he lost almost $10,000 investing in Dogecoin - which he got into because of your Twitter account. Maybe it's time to calm down.— Jon Rice (@JonRiceCrypto) June 4, 2021
Anonymous is hardly the only party to have taken issue with Musk’s cynical Tweeting as of late, but it’s unclear if they can do something about it.
The group’s power seems to have waned in recent years. Their peak arguably came during Project Chanology, an effort aimed at delegitimizing and degrading the influence of the Church of Scientology. They attacked websites, published secret information, and even sent a near-naked man covered in pubic hair and vaseline to trash a Church location. Bless you, Agent Pubit.
In recent years, their successes have been fewer while their threats have been many. Recent targets include the government of Nigeria, the Minneapolis police department, and the prison system of Thailand. In all instances, it’s unclear what, if any, battles they managed to win.
The efficacy or legitimacy of Anonymous' efforts are almost irrelevant, however. Anonymous and blockchain ideology are two overlapping, but ultimately separate intellectual movements, and incidents like this video highlight the differences between the two.
Bitcoin was founded by a pseudonymous individual or collective named Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi chose to step away from his creation, freeing the tech of statements like Anonymous'. Bitcoin doesn't need anyone's help; it's an elegantly designed network which will all but certainly outlast Elon Musk, and it may even outlast all memory of his achievements.
This is how cypherpunks fight: with code, not cosplay. Anonymous, respectfully, we're good.